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ADOH SchematicEditingEssentials 040713 0905 23120.pdf


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This is a general overview of design object placement and editing methods used in the Schematic Editor. Detailed
explanations of placing and editing some of the more complex objects, such as wires and parts are also included.

Fundamentals of Object Placement
Grids and Cursors
Before placing objects in the Schematic Editor, set the grids to enable easier placement. Altium offers three grid
types: visible grids for navigation; snap grids for placement and electrical grids for aiding the creation of connections.
Grids are document options, meaning that they are saved with the individual design, so grid settings may differ
between one design document and the next. Set your grids initially in the Document Options dialog ( Design » Docu
ment Options).

Visible grids appear whenever the zoom level will allow them to be sufficiently spaced, displayed as either lines or
dots. The Snap grid is the grid that the cursor is locked to when placing or moving schematic design objects.
Overriding Snap grids are Electrical grids, which allow connections to be made to off-grid parts. When moving an
electrical object in the workspace and it falls within the electrical grid range of another electrical object that you could
connect to, it will snap to the fixed object and a hotspot (red cross) will appear. The Electrical grid should be set
slightly lower than the current Snap grid or else it becomes difficult to position electrical objects one snap grid apart.
Grids can be quickly modified or toggled between enabled and disabled, through keyboard or mouse shortcuts, for
example, press G to cycle through the Snap grid settings of 1, 5 and 10. You can also use the View » Grids sub
menu or the Grids right-click menu. Use the Grids tab under the Schematic folder in the Preferences dialog ( Tools »
Schematic Preferences or shortcut T, P) to set Imperial and Metric grid presets.
You can also change the Cursor type to suit your needs in the Cursor section of the Graphical Editing tab under the
Schematic folder in the Preferences dialog. For example, a large 90 degree cross that extends to the edges of the
design window (Large Cursor 90 option) can be handy when placing and aligning design objects.

Placing Design Objects